Nomenclature is a tough topic. I tell students that we are living in the land of symbols while we study nomenclature. It is important but it is difficult to get them excited. I started fishing for resources. The American Association for Chemistry Teachers (AACT) has been a great resource to help me try new things.
Chad Husting's blog
I have written about Atomsmith before, but the new updates are worth another mention.
There are many activities that can be used to cover the topics of percent composition, empirical and molecular formulas and hydrates. Percent composition of sugar in a piece of bubble gum is an easy activity to begin the unit with.
I was having difficulty with a student that was making poor choices in the lab. When I saw him making positive choices and acknowledged that, our relationship changed for the better.
I allowed my students to choose between two separation type laboratories. About two thirds of the class chose to separate the flavoring out of a grape of cherry soda. The rest of the students used paper chromatography to determine if red-40 dye was in a specific type of candy.
If you are looking for a measuring and density activity that will be challenging, allow students to experience success early on and can be boxed up to use again, you might consider trying the activity that I am sharing in this post.
I want to share a measuring activity for you to consider. First, start with two baseballs. The first baseball is a regular baseball. The other baseball is called a "small ball". Next, get six to eight students to volunteer. Without talking at all the students must hold the normal baseball and the small ball. They then must decide if the normal ball has more, less or the same mass as the small ball.
What is the very first impression that I want to make on students? Do I want to pass out a bunch of papers about the syllabus, rules and policies? Do I want kids to be thinking and acting like scientists? Deep down inside, my hope is always for the second idea. I decided to steal an idea I got from master chemistry teacher Linda Ford at an local ACS meeting. Linda introduced a group of teachers to the "Miracle Fortune Teller Fish".
This post was submitted for the 2017 ChemEd X Call for Contributions: Creating a Classroom Culture.